Reflection on jealousy

Today’s topic in Tina’s 30 Days of Self Love is jealousy.

Oh boy, does that hit home. I find myself jealous more often than I want to admit.

I’m jealous when I see other writers announcing their first sale, and sometimes when I read about one of my blog friends’ great success at the scale (or with a really good workout).

I think, “Why am I not having similar success? I work hard,too.”

What I fail to take into account is that the object of my envy may not be as successful as I think … or they may have worked 10 times harder than me to get where they are.

You see, I have a confession to make. I’m guilty of expecting things to come easily.

In school, I was one of those students some people hate: The ones who don’t have to study too much to get good grades. Even in the classes that didn’t come so easily (math), I ended up with at least a C, sometimes a B. (Had I really applied myself in high school, I probably could have had straight A’s … As it was, I had a case of senioritis during the second semester of my freshman year.)

In college, I did study (and wrote some really killer papers) … but instead of challenging myself, I stuck to classes I enjoyed and knew I could do well in: journalism, literature, creative writing, political science. I got a B in my poetry writing class (and, to this day, I dislike writing poetry because I find it more challenging than prose).

In my writing life, I’ve written quite proficiently (some of it good, some not-so-good). But I haven’t submitted a whole lot because that’s the HARD part … sending my baby out to be criticized and picked apart. (The writing itself is easy.)

The same’s true when it comes to weight loss. I think the reason I keep toying with the idea of returning to Atkins is because it was so easy. I dropped more than 100 pounds and it was (mostly) effortless. And I know I find myself taking the easy way out — hitting the drive-thru, not tracking, slacking on the exercise front — more often than I should (or even want to admit).

What does all this have to do with jealousy? Well, in some ways, I might be the one others envy. And in many others, I find myself envying all of you … the ones who work out every day, whether they feel like it or not … the ones who create three delicious-looking, healthy-sounding meals a day … the ones who get to goal and stay there while I keep bouncing around like a — well, like a yo-yo.

So I’d do well to keep Tina’s words of wisdom on the subject in mind:

Admiring others for their positive attributes and successes cultivates a supporting world. Obsessing and wishing for those same things produces an environment of hurt in relationships with others and yourself. … The most put-together of your friends or loved ones definitely face their own struggles, insecurities, hurts, wants, and frustrations with life. If you could dig a little deeper, you would see the dust swept under the rug of their “perfect” life. …

The co-workers, fellow bloggers, people in your yoga class, etc, etc, etc that you may envy for their fabulous salaries, lives, bodies, etc, etc, etc may in fact envy things they deem perfect about you. … Center your worth on your qualities. Strive to become the best version of your self, not someone else.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Tina, for another fantastic, thought-provoking post.

4 thoughts on “Reflection on jealousy”

  1. Oh wow! We are very alike! I had life so easy as a kid – school was a breeze and I never had to work at it. I also did the same as you when high school hit. Pretty much did NOT apply myself in the slightest and that is one of the big regrets of my life.
    I can be very lazy and I like when things come easy. It is so had to make myself do the work (at anything), but I’m getting there! I’m realizing that it’s always worth it!

    1. Yes, I sometimes wonder if I’d have a different (better-paying) job if I’d applied myself in math. But since I didn’t like it, I didn’t … and I didn’t like it because it wasn’t as easy for me as other subjects.

  2. Very insightful. Thanks for the thought. I admit I was looking at my exercise leader this morning (who claimed to have 3 kids, but whose tiny slim body has surely never know a 9 month belly) with more than a little jealousy.

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